When did UTZ start?

Since 2007 UTZ Certified has developed sustainability models for cocoa.

UTZ Ivory Coast 1

In the 1990s two business partners, Nick Bocklandt a Belgian-Guatemalan coffee grower and Ward de Groote a Dutch coffee roaster, initiated the idea of the UTZ program. Nick took a responsible approach to growing coffee taking care of his people and the environment. Ward saw an opportunity to increase the small number of this customers buying product based on good practice and sustainable quality. Together they initiated the UTZ program to implement 'sustainable quality' on a large scale. 

They chose the name "Utz Kapeh", which means "good coffee" in the Mayan language Quiché. An office was opened in Guatemala City in 1999 and in 2002 the head office was opened in The Netherlands.

Since the market launch in 2007, UTZ Certified has grown to be one of the leading sustainable coffee programs worldwide. Based on this success, UTZ Certified developed sustainable models for tea and in 2007 it developed one for cocoa, it also provides traceability services for RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified sustainable palm oil, and the Better Cotton Initiative. In March 2007, Utz Kapeh updated its name to UTZ Certified Good inside to reflect the wider range of commodities in the UTZ program.